After more than three months of meetings, and a series of productive phone calls, Smile Politely has purchased the rights to the Local Music Awards from Illini Media Company for three points above its market value at $100.00 USD. The new version of the much-cherished, but oft-maligned event will take place during Pygmalion Music Festival in September of 2010.
Despite conflicts, and deep-seated disagreements, Illini Media publisher, Mary Cory, decided that the best thing for the company would be to find as many ways as she could for the student-run organization to disconnect further from the community, and focus more on what they do best: campustown.
“With events like Frattle of the Bands at Kam’s right around the corner,” says Cory, “we’ve already got our finger on the pulse of what this rock music scene is really about: getting drunk and listening to any sort of music that will make white people dance in as awkward a fashion as possible.”
Co-founder of Smile Politely Seth Fein agreed that it was time for the Awards show to go to the next level: “Pygmalion Music Festival was always supposed to be a popularity contest. It’s cutthroat out there—who can sell the most tickets, who can pimp themselves to their siblings’ friends, and get the most votes. The band that does that will generally end up headlining Mike N’ Molly’s or The Brass Rail before they know it. When my band, Absinthe Blind, was playing, we were fortunate to open up for luminaries of that era like Eve 6, Stroke 9, and even Lucky Boys Confusion. I still remember that glorious feeling. So, I know that hard work has a way of paying off.”
The format of the awards show will revert to what it started as in 2005: a voting contest without any type of oversight with regards to legitimacy or talent. Artists will be nominated by a collection of local musicians, critics and ex-junkies, and those selected will be encouraged to get out the vote through whatever means possible.
Friendster and PureVolume have been listed as “Recommended” websites in the past by Illini Media Company, but Smile Politely is considering a move to “Myspace,” a relatively new way of reaching thousands of under-dressed teenage girls who love every kind of music from emo to emocore to emothrash.
The awards show itself will take place at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts inside of the Great Foellinger Hall, and will be accompanied by performances of past Best Band winners, Lorenzo Goetz, Lorenzo Goetz, and of course, Lorenzo Goetz. Curb Service is said to be considering the opening slot on the show.
“I know attendance only reached about 300 in years past,” quipped Music Editor Ben Valocchi, “but we’re confident that we can fill over 2000 seats with the promotional power of Smile Politely behind the awards now, not to mention the headliners, Lorenzo Goetz and Lorenzo Goetz. Plus, local living legend John Hoeffleur is likely to host as long as we can mend things between him and the Illini Media Company.”
Valocchi is referring to “The Incident” in 2008 when Hoeffleur’s Anti-LMA show was allegedly pepper-sprayed by a disgruntled Illini Media Company employee.
Cory denies that it even took place. “The room cleared because they put that band The Zmicksters or whoever on stage. That pepper spray story was just a reason for them to justify a poor turnout.”
Theories about “The Incident” can be found throughout the internet with a quick google search.
But overall, this is seems like a sign of big things to come.
Says one local band that wished to remain anonymous, “Ever since that Steinbacher fella proclaimed Champaign the King of Pop music, we’ve all been clamoring to get back to the basement and write some more songs that lack any grit. We’re hooked on The Shins and we’re proud of it.”